Live: Emotional Chidambaram bids adieu to Finance Ministry

Last Updated: Thu, May 15, 2014 10:55 hrs

4.30 pm:

Emotional Chidambaram bids adieu to Finance Ministry

An emotional P Chidambaram today bid adieu to the Finance Ministry, which he had served thrice, with a promise that he would continue to remain active in public life.

Chidambaram, 68, who holds the distinction of presenting nine Unions Budgets -- short of the record 10 delivered by Morarji Desai -- listed out the challenges before the economy in his parting address to the secretaries and senior officials of his ministry.

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Modi will win from Vadodara by over 5 lakh votes, claims Patel

Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel has claimed that BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will win the election to Vadodara Lok Sabha seat by a "margin of over five lakh votes".

"We expect majority of votes for Modi and a victory margin of over five lakh votes," Patel, the poll in-charge of Modi for the Vadodara election said.

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3.30 pm:

Exit polls only give rise to Sensex: Akhilesh

Dismissing the exit poll results, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said he did not trust exit polls which only give rise to Sensex.

"I dont believe in exit polls. They are not true and are only giving rise to Sensex", Yadav told reporters here when asked about exit polls showing poor performance by his party.

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3.00 pm:

Rahul Gandhi is a foreigner: Shiv Sena

The Shiv Sena on Thursday attacked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for skipping the farewell dinner hosted for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by his mother Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday.

"He is foreigner. He comes to the country fro spending holidays. If he can't give time to the PM, who has served the nation for ten years, then how can you expect him to serve the country," Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told media.

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2.42 pm:

N D Tiwari turns bridegroom at 88, marries Ujjwala Sharma

Veteran Congress leader and former chief minister N.D. Tiwari married Ujjwala Sharma on Thursday morning.

Sharma was the woman whose son Tiwari recently accepted as his own after a lengthy lawsuit.

Rohit Shekhar, 32, had taken the politician to court after Tiwari had refused to acknowledge their biological relationship.

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12.04 pm:

274 confirmed dead in Turkey mine explosion

The number of workers confirmed dead in an explosion and fire at a coal mine in Turkey has reached 274.

Officials acknowledge there is little hope of finding survivors inside the mine near Soma city, where roughly 100 men remain trapped some four km from the entrance.

The high concentration of carbon monoxide is preventing rescue teams from going deeper inside the mine, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said.

Some rescuers too have died already.

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11.15 am:

Uneasy calm in riot-hit parts of Hyderabad

An uneasy calm prevailed in riot-hit areas of Hyderabad Thursday, a day after paramilitary troopers opened fire killing three people following communal clashes that left scores injured.

An indefinite curfew continued in Kishan Bangh, Sikh Chowni and Arsh Mahal areas of the Cyberabad police commissionerate.

Police said the situation remained peaceful. No untoward incident was reported since Wednesday morning when Border Security Force (BSF) personnel opened fire on a mob.

A large number of policemen and paramilitary forces maintained a tight vigil in the areas, which were rocked by clashes early Wednesday after a religious flag was allegedly found burnt.

11. am:

Jayalalithaa refuses to comment on post-poll alliance

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa has refused to comment on the post-poll alliance, saying that she was eagerly waiting for the result.

"I am waiting eagerly for results which will be declared on May 16. I cannot make any remark on any other subject," Jayalalithaa said.

"There is nothing more I can say at this juncture. Let us wait for the results to be declared and then I will give you my comments," she added.

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10.15 am:

BHU student found dead in hostel room

A research scholar at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his hostel room in Varanasi, police said Thursday.

The deceased, Rahul Prajapat, was a research scholar at the Chemisty department. He was staying at the Aiyyer hostel and was found dead by his colleagues late Wednesday.

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9.45 am:

Arkansas gay marriages end, for now, after ruling

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to put on hold a ruling that overturned the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage, but the short-lived ability for same-sex couples to wed in the state still came to a halt amid confusion about what comes next.

Although the justices refused to suspend the lower court's ruling overturning the state constitution's gay marriage ban, they said the ruling didn't address a separate state law that, among other things, bars county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

"I think it actually makes it a little more muddy," Chris Villines, the executive director of the Association of Arkansas Counties, said Wednesday evening after reviewing the Supreme Court's decision. Lawyers for both sides are expected to seek clarification from the court on Thursday.

9.15 am:

Returning Officers review preparations for poll counting

The Returning Officers of Nagpur and Ramtek Lok Sabha constituencies reviewed preparations for counting of votes to be held on Friday at Kalamna Agriculture Market for the just-concluded general elections.

Returning Officer Abhishek Krishna, accompanied by Deputy RO Pradeep Dange and other officials from Ramtek constituency, yesterday visited the venue for counting of votes.

The counting will take place in separate barracks in the market for each constituency.

About 10,50,559 votes were polled in Nagpur and 10,85,021 in Ramtek constituency.

8.30 am:

Venezuela protests heat up amid opposition rift

Venezuelan security forces arrested scores of people on Wednesday during a sweep of a busy Caracas avenue as protests against the government stepped up even as a rift opened within the opposition over whether to back U.S. sanctions.

The protest and police response comes as month-old negotiations aimed at easing tensions hang in the balance. The opposition on Tuesday froze talks with President Nicolas Maduro's government, saying the climate for dialogue was impossible after the mass arrest last week of 200 student protesters who had been camping for weeks outside the offices of the United Nations and nearby plazas.

Many political observers believe that by freezing the talks opposition leaders were caving to pressure from their own radical base, which is fuming following confusing statements about sanctions made by the top U.S. diplomat to Latin America.

8.00 am:

230 turtles from India seized at Bangkok airport

Customs officials at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok have seized 230 Hamilton turtles packed in four unattended suitcases that arrived on a flight from India, Bangkok Post reported Wednesday.

The baggage, which arrived on an IndiGo Airlines flight 6E077 from Kolkata, bore the names Hashamudd M., Dantsh Zafa, Shamsad S.K. and Wasi Akram, and was found in the arrival area of the airport, customs department deputy chief Paisal Cheunjit said.

The department estimated the value of the turtles at one million baht (or $30,800), although the price tag could be much more in the market, the official said, adding that the suspects probably left the luggage over fears they could be detected by authorities.

Hamilton turtles are under protection as an endangered species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

7.30 am:

Delayed Afghan election result to be released today

Afghanistan's presidential election result will be announced today, officials said, after a one-day delay over fraud investigations into the first round of voting to find a successor to Hamid Karzai.

Full results from the April 5 election were released late last month, but the final declaration will factor in the outcome of weeks of deliberation over fraud allegations.

In the preliminary results, none of the eight candidates gained more than 50% of the vote, pointing to a second round run-off between the two top names as Afghanistan undergoes its first democratic transfer of power.

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